Aadhaar-ready phones embraced by Micromax, Intex; resisted by Apple, Google

Apple and Google may soon find themselves left behind by the likes of domestic manufacturers like Micromax and Lava when it comes to making their smartphones Aadhaar-ready. The former two are apparently resistant to the idea of adding the biometric authentication technology to their offerings.

To recap, talk about Aadhaar-enabled devices first sprung up back in July this year. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had called for a meeting attended by senior executives of companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Micromax and Samsung.

The purpose of the gathering was to discuss the possibility of embedding the system so that people could authenticate their Aadhaar biometrics on the smartphone itself. This may have a number of advantages for citizens since they would be able to access various services without having to go to any office.

People familiar with the discussions assert that Apple and Google are against the idea since it would involve opening up their system, which in turn might lead to hacking. The former is known for its rigid stance when it comes to privacy, having been involved in a long-drawn standout against the US government when the FBI asked it to unlock an alleged terrorist’s iPhone earlier this year.

On the other hand, Micromax, Lava, Intex and Reliance’s Lyf brand are open to the initiative and have supposedly started discussions with Delta ID Inc to add the firm’s iris-reading tech to its products. This comes via its CEO Salil Prabhakar who also added that a few Chinese manufacturers like Vivo, Oppo and Gionee were looking into the possibility as well.

Making phones Aadhaar-ready would allow people to verify their identity by simply glancing at a handset with a special Iris camera. So far, only Samsung has produced a tablet which is compatible with the system.